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What does the visitor Watson finds with Holmes look like and does this appearance tell...

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user8083413 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:18 PM via web

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What does the visitor Watson finds with Holmes look like and does this appearance tell anything about him as a person in "The Red-headed League"? 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 30, 2013 at 4:58 PM (Answer #1)

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Mr. Wilson’s hair color is important to the plot of the story, and so is his pride.

Mr. Wilson is “a very stout, florid-faced elderly gentleman with fiery red hair” and “small fat-encircled eyes.”  He is not described as very bright.  He is also evidently a proud man, from his description.

The portly client puffed out his chest with an appearance of some little pride and pulled a dirty and wrinkled newspaper from the inside pocket of his greatcoat.

This is important because only a proud and slightly conceited man could have fallen for the ridiculous scheme of the Red-headed League. Mr. Wilson is just full enough of himself and just dumb enough to be easily convinced that he can be hired just because of the color of his hair for a job that involves nothing more than copying an encyclopedia for a few hours a day.  

If Mr. Wilson had not been so gullible, John Clay would not have been able to trick him.  The fact that he is fat and has bright red hair makes him not very good-looking and also an easy target.

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